A new tentacle in the Biden administration's bid to control the news

The Biden administration is still trying to control the news.  We saw it already in the government-financed blacklists of conservative outlets and we saw it in the muscling of social media companies.

Now there's this, according to the Washington Free Beacon:

The Biden administration tapped a liberal journalism academy that once promoted a "blacklist" of conservative outlets to train reporters on how to create "balanced and bias-free" journalism.

The Poynter Institute held the training course with reporters as part of a contract with the U.S. Agency for Global Media, according to a federal spending database. The agency, which paid Poynter $23,500 for the course through March 31, oversees Voice of America and other government news outlets.

The agency could seemingly use the training. Republicans have accused the organization of whitewashing stories about Iran and engaging in partisan advocacy in favor of President Joe Biden.

But Poynter may not be the best choice to teach journalists the art of unbiased and balanced reporting. While the organization bills itself as "nonpartisan," it is funded largely by wealthy Democratic donors George Soros, Pierre Omidyar, Craig Newmark, Bill Gates, and Tim Gill, an LGBT activist whose husband is Biden's ambassador to Switzerland.

In 2019, Poynter released a "blacklist" of conservative news organizations, including the Washington Free Beacon, deemed "unreliable." Poynter retracted the list, called "UnNews," after widespread criticism. 

Why there's some kind of "need" for this, particularly for the Voice of America, which is a huge government agency with plenty of in-house talent, is quite a mystery.  The agency has been cutting back on actual original reporting, according to my sources in that agency, often in favor of paid news services over actual in-house reporting.  They have plenty of veteran correspondents who know how to report news capable of training their fellow newbie journalists.  Plus most of their hires come from journalism schools such as Columbia University's and others, which are well acquainted with Poynter's nominal values.  They don't need to be taught them twice.

Two things stand out here — that this smacks of some kind of Biden payoff to Poynter, which is well connected with Democratic circles and their house organs such as the Washington Post and many of the top jschools, making it an act of political cronyism.

Perhaps even more likely, it appears to be a bid to slant the news in Democrats' favor.  It would be interesting to see what these so-called trainings are like for these supposed journalists, who apparently know nothing about journalism, such that they need Poynter to come in and teach them how to be "unbiased" as members of the U.S. government's house organ.

The Beacon notes that already they have done as much, leading the charge against the New York Post and its Hunter Biden laptop scoop:

In September 2020, Poynter executive Kelly McBride took part in a tabletop exercise held by the liberal Aspen Institute to plot how journalists, social media executives, and others would handle the hypothetical "hack and dump" of First Son Hunter Biden's emails. The working group advised participants to treat any release of Biden documents with skepticism and to consult with other news organizations and intelligence officials before publishing stories based on the records.

Poynter appeared to follow the advice after emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop appeared in October 2020, when the organization lauded news organizations for ignoring the story. "Hardly any media outlets, except for conservative ones, are giving the story any credence at all," crowed one Poynter writer. McBride, the working group participant, is chair of Poynter's Craig Newmark Center for Ethics & Leadership. Newmark, a major Joe Biden donor, contributed $5 million to Poynter and millions more to the Aspen Institute.

Any introspective self-criticism on that one?  Not that I can tell from the Poynter site.  Even the Columbia journalism school's house magazine, the Columbia Journalism Review, ran a series from old New York Timesman Jeff Gerth on the media malfeasance there.  Don't see anything from Poynter.

Meanwhile, the Beacon also notes that they are neck-deep in the fact-checking business, with the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler on their fact-checking board, who's been noted in the news for being wrong — not a good thing in a fact-checker, whose purported job is to police other journalists.

Fact-checking is a burgeoning new industry geared to boostering the legacy media and stamping out any upstarts against its monopoly, particularly any conservative upstarts, by branding them as bad and selling that information as lacking their imprimatur to corporate advertisers for big dollars.  The idea is to get advertising pulled and rankings lowered in internet searches for conservative outlets.  Naturally, it has become a source of blacklists for Google to deplatform and YouTube to demonetize, which, the Beacon notes, they have been doing at Poynter's urging.  This is where the big money is and where the swamp things with their consultant contracts are heading.  See the career of one Nina Jankowicz, Biden's Mary Poppins–singing censor wannabe.  The Beacon notes that Poynter runs PolitiFact, a fact-checking outfit that has been wrong and spread misinformation itself on many occasions on hot-button issues for Democrats.

Even left-leaning Mediaite called Kessler out on his wrong statements, falsely claiming that New York district attorney Alvin Bragg was not funded by Soros

Soros, eh?  The guy who finances the Poynter Institute, where Kessler sits on the board for fact-checking?  That's the same Soros who has a rabidly anti-Republican agenda and in the past has claimed that America needs "de-Nazification."  Think that might just influence how the Poynter Institute thinks?

Kessler didn't disclose that little conflict of interest.

He's been wrong or biased on other stuff, too.  Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist called him out for deceptively editing tweets in his bid against President Trump, who called out a string of conflicts of interest over the man who's judging him using published news articles, and claiming that news articles were "intimidation" of judges.  Didn't see anything from him about the thugs and wannabe assassin who were illegally protesting at the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Kessler's idea of unbiased factuality according to RealClearPolitics is here:

Washington Post "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler Won't Be Counting False Biden Claims: "I Assume" He'll Be Like Obama And Tell The Truth

Never assume, Glenn-o.  You know how that spells out.

Confident that Poynter will teach the pudknockers at VOA to be unbiased journalists after that one?

What we have here is a money-shoveling racket for a government news agency that is already biased, being taught to be more biased, as if they couldn't be biased on their own as a government-sponsored press outlet.  We've already seen the turmoil at Voice of America as leftists have screamed about a new administration coming in — Trump's — where, albeit late in the game, they attempted to restore some kind of order over there.  Now we hear that money is flowing from the Bidenites from the parent company of the Voice of America to Soros-sponsored Poynter, for the purposes of teaching unbiased reporting.

Color us skeptical.  It's pretty obvious what the game here is from Joe Biden's sleazy operatives: controlling the news and stamping out conservative outlets under the cover of Poynter "respectability."

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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